Sunday, November 30, 2014

U.S. Air Force's A-10 Warthogs and Reaper Drones Called Up to Strike Militant Targets within Days

Deadly force: A line up of A-10s at Shaw Air Force Base, 
South Carolina. Planes of this type will arrive in 
Kuwait for combat operations next week
A dozen of the United States Air Force’s most feared attack aircraft are to be deployed in the battle against ISIS.
Twelve A-10 ‘Warthogs’ are being moved from Afghanistan to Kuwait to carry out patrols against the Islamic State militants who have taken swathes of Iraqi and Syrian territory.
The new deployment will boost the USAF’s ability to patrol the skies and take out ISIS targets.
Slow and steady: An unarmed A-10 shows the maneuverability 
which makes it a deadly foe to ground forces. It can fly steadily 
at slow speed at just 50 feet above enemy positions 
and is heavily armored against gunfire
They will be joined within weeks by around six Reaper drones armed with missiles, the New York Times reported.
The new weaponry marks an increase in the options open to military planners who have struggled to strike ISIS.
A-10s, originally designed to destroy Soviet tank squadrons if the USSR had invaded the West, have proved a deadly weapon against Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.
Unmanned: A Reaper preparing for take-off. Some of 
its missile load can be seen under the left wing
Slow-moving and equipped with a devastating 30mm cannon capable of firing almost 4,000 rounds a minute - as well as missiles and 500lb bombs - they can fly as low as 50ft and engage targets far more slowly than the bombers and fighter-bombers which have so far been deployed in Iraq and Syria.
The decision to deploy A-10s and Reapers comes after a major battle-planning conference involving more than 200 commanders from 33 countries involved in the fight against ISIS.
Remote control: Pilots at Hollman Air Force Base in New 
Mexico at the controls of a Reaper during a training mission. 
The Iraq and Syria missions against ISIS will be flown from 
Shaw Air Force Base, SC
America remains by far the largest single country involved, but has now received backing from more Muslim countries.
Morocco is to send F-16s to attack the militants under the US-led operation.
However the main concern over the campaign has been the lack of targets to strike because of the nature of ISIS, which combines large groups acting like a conventional army, with insurgency tactics
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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